Welcome back for Part 2 of my Charleston, South Carolina trip recap! (You can read Part 1 here). We left off on Day 3 in Charleston…
On Tuesday morning we slept in, had breakfast, and then got ready for the day. We decided to do a 10am walking tour with Charleston Strolls, a well renowned company offering daily tours of Charleston. It was a fascinating two hour walking tour all over downtown Charleston. Our guide was the best – super knowledgeable and engaging. She really made the tour for me.
We learned a ton about the early days of Charleston through its’ religious history, architecture, settlers, and southern roots.
We toured the inside and grounds of the stunning St. Michael’s Church.
I loved the new architecture of the Charleston Courthouse in the midst of all of the older buildings downtown.
The lovely weather paired with the enormous trees definitely had me looking up a lot during the tour. I was so enchanted by the moss covered trees in Charleston.
Another thing I truly loved about the tour was learning about the antebellum homes that are in downtown Charleston. They all have these fabulous porches with the formal front door situated so that front of the house faces the direction of the breeze/waterfront. Just beautiful.
New and old, the homes are all just stunning.
I could totally live in any of these!
The tour took us down to the waterfront where our guide gave us a great history of the harbor and the role it played in the development of the city.
The homes on the waterfront are palaces (though we hear they get a lot more water damage, oof).
As we walked back towards downtown we strolled by Rainbow Row, thirteen brightly colored historic homes in Charleston.
We also checked out the Old Exchange Building and the Freemason’s Grand Lodge of Charleston.
And just like that, the tour was over. I think it could easily have been four hours. There is so much to see and learn about Charleston, I wanted to know so much more. Plus, our tour guide was clearly a scholar of the city, I could have picked her brain for hours.
After two hours of walking though, we were definitely hungry for lunch. We walked over to Poogan’s Porch, which was highly recommended to us by friends who had been.
I had a really good salad and John had a sandwich. The restaurant had a very charming ambiance, like you were in someone’s house having lunch. We loved it there.
After lunch we walked back towards the shops on King Street and stumbled upon the Gateway Walk.
The Gateway Walk is a path that connects several of the historic churches of Charleston. It’s not on a road, it’s just a private path that winds behind the churches through the graveyards and gardens.
Needless to say, it was beautiful. A real hidden gem in Charleston. I could have spent hours here, taking pictures and listening to the organ playing inside the churches. Perfection.
After the Gateway Walk we headed down to the waterfront to take a tour of Fort Sumter National Park.
In order to get to Fort Sumter you need to take a ferry; the fort is about 40 minutes offshore in the middle of Charleston Harbor. It was a gorgeous day for a boat ride and we really loved being outside on the upper deck.
We enjoyed the incredible views of downtown from the ferry too.
We finally arrived at Fort Sumter, which looked so tiny in the middle of the harbor with nothing else nearby.
But up close, it was actually quite impressive.
Fort Sumter is most famous for being the site at which the first shots of the American Civil War were fired at the Battle of Fort Sumter in April 1861.
Now it is obviously a national park preserving the historic memory of the significant events that took place here.
You can’t help but wonder what it must have been like here in the 1800’s, how different life and wartime was then compared to how they are now.
Once inside the fort we toured the interior buildings which have been turned into a museum.
The museum has many historically significant things on display. The most notable being Fort Sumter’s Battle Flag. It was very moving to see this enormous flag displayed so reverently.
Since we joined the last tour of the day we only had about 30 minutes to walk around Fort Sumter before we had to get back on the ferry. It was exactly the kind of thing we love to do on vacation and I would come back in a heartbeat.
Gotta love those big beautiful afternoon clouds over the harbor.
As usual we headed back to the hotel and lounged for a bit before dinner. We ended up walking just a few blocks from the hotel to 82 Queen for dinner. I’d go back to Charleston for this pork chop alone.
Stay tuned for Part 3, the final installment, of my Charleston trip recap!